New charges have been filed against the fugitive Alabama corrections officer accused of helping his jailhouse lover escape from prison before they went on the run together.
The Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office slapped its own employee, Vicky White, with new second-degree identity theft and forgery charges Monday as the major manhunt for the couple entered its 10th day.
The charges relate to Mrs. White allegedly using an alias to purchase a getaway car that was used “to facilitate the escape,” authorities said.
The 56-year-old purchased the rust-colored 2007 Ford Edge that was later found abandoned in Tennessee with a fake ID, according to the sheriff’s office.
A bench warrant was first issued for the 56-year-old’s arrest last Monday, three days after she disappeared with capital murder suspect Casey Cole White, charging her with felony allowing or aiding her escape.
Sheriff Rick Singleton told CNN that officials have since determined that he has at least two fake IDs that he has been using to evade detection.
“If she was using her own identity, it would be pretty easy for us to find her,” he said.
“We know that he used a fake ID to buy a car here locally.
“He had two fake IDs that we know of, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he had new or additional ones now.”
The new charges come on the same day the US Marshals Service confirmed that White had been seen at a car wash in Indiana last week, where a stolen truck believed to be the couple’s second car in the escape was abandoned.
Surveillance footage, shared as stills by officials Monday afternoon, captured the capital murder suspect entering the Weinbach Car Wash in Evansville, Indiana on Tuesday.
The 38-year-old man, who is said to be armed and dangerous, is seen wearing a light pink t-shirt, beige pants and a black baseball cap, with his heavily tattooed right arm clearly visible in the image.
U.S. Marshal Commander of the Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force Chad Hunt said the independent that officials had confirmed that White is the man in the picture.
Correctional officer Vicky White, who is believed to have been in a romantic relationship with him for the past two years, was not seen at the car wash, he said.
Investigators responded to the business Monday after receiving a tip that a 2006 Ford F-150 had been found abandoned there last Wednesday.
The car wash owner then provided investigators with the footage of White from surveillance cameras.
US Marshals believe the inmate and corrections officer have used the truck during their time on the run.
Evansville is about 175 miles north of Williamson County, Tennessee, where the couple abandoned their first getaway car: a rust-colored 2007 Ford Edge.
On Friday, the US Marshals Service announced that the Ford Edge had been found along a rural road in Tennessee, about a two-hour drive north of the Lauderdale County jail, where the inmate was being held. detained before his escape from prison on April 29.
Authorities said the pair left jail in Ms. White’s patrol car before abandoning the vehicle in a nearby shopping center parking lot and changing into the getaway car.
However, officials believe they were forced to switch vehicles again after the Ford Edge broke down.
The Ford Edge was actually located just hours after the couple went missing and taken to a tow-away lot in Williamson County, but its connection to the case was only realized on Friday.
The second getaway vehicle was reported missing near Nashville, Tennessee, shortly after the Ford Edge was found abandoned.
Officials admitted the time lapse in identifying the Ford Edge as the getaway car marked another “setback” in the manhunt after the pair already had a six-hour head start before jail staff noticed their disappearance. .
The sighting comes as new details continue to emerge indicating the high level of planning that went into the escape, with surveillance footage showing Ms White in a hotel just hours before they disappeared.
The video, shared by the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, shows Ms. White pacing in front of the reception desk at a Quality Inn around 5:21 a.m. on Friday, April 29.
The 56-year-old woman, who is wearing a dark sweatshirt with her blonde hair loose on her shoulders, glances over the counter before walking away.
The footage was captured on the morning of the prison break, with officials saying Mrs White stayed at the budget hotel for two nights before fleeing with convict Casey Cole White.
Sheriff Singleton said the Quality Inn is next to the shopping center where the couple left Mrs. White’s patrol car in the parking lot and transferred to the getaway vehicle.
Separate security footage has also shown Ms White allegedly buying menswear for White at a department store and also visiting an “adult store” shortly before they went on the run.
Sheriff Singleton told CNN he “obviously had a change of clothes” for White, pointing to the escape being “very well planned and calculated.”
The sheriff said the couple had been in what he described as a “jail romance” or a “special relationship” for the past two years.
He said there is evidence that they had been in contact since 2020 when White was transferred out of the county jail after he was accused of planning another prison break.
Mrs. White allegedly contacted him by phone before the inmate was transferred back to the local jail in February.
Upon his return, White had received special treatment from the prison officer, including being given extra food on his trays, authorities said.
Mrs. White had also sold her home just five weeks earlier for well below market value, withdrew $90,000 in cash from her bank accounts and filed for retirement days before the couple disappeared.
His last day of work was the day he disappeared, although his retirement papers had not been finalized.
After selling her house, she moved in with her mother, who previously said she knew nothing about her daughter’s retirement plans and had never heard her talk about White.
A warrant has been issued for both the inmate and corrections officer and a $15,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his capture.
The sheriff’s office said Ms. White, who is not related to the inmate, picked him up from the detention center around 9:30 a.m. on April 29, claiming she was taking him for a mental health evaluation at the courthouse. of Lauderdale County.
She told her co-workers that once she had escorted him to court, she would seek medical attention for her because she was not feeling well.
They never made it to court and neither the prison officer nor the inmate has been seen since.
Sheriff Singleton said they later learned that White had no appointments or court appearances scheduled for that day.
Ms. White’s 2013 Ford Taurus patrol car was found abandoned in a shopping center parking lot not far from the jail around 11 a.m. that day.
Sheriff Singleton said that Mrs. White, who coordinates all inmate transportation, broke protocol by taking the inmate out of jail alone.
Due to the seriousness of the charges against White and his previous prison break attempt, it is policy that he must be escorted by two sworn deputies at all times, including when being transported to and from the courthouse.
But, despite the violation, the alarm was only raised several hours after the couple was released from jail on Friday morning.
Around 3:30 pm that afternoon, Mrs. White’s co-workers became concerned that she had not returned and were unable to reach her by phone.
It was only then that they also realized that White had not returned to jail either.
Members of the public have been urged to call authorities and not approach the escapees, who are considered “dangerous” and may be armed with an AR-15 rifle, handguns and a shotgun.
White is awaiting trial on capital murder charges in the 2015 stabbing murder of 58-year-old mother Connie Ridgeway.
Ms. Ridgeway was found stabbed to death in her apartment in Rogersville, Alabama, on October 23, 2015.
The case remained unsolved for five years until White sent a letter to the authorities confessing to the crime.
At the time, he was already behind bars serving a 75-year sentence after being convicted of a series of crimes in both Alabama and Tennessee.
The spree includes a home invasion, carjacking and a police chase, with White shooting one person and holding six at gunpoint.
In 2020, White was charged with two counts of capital murder for the murder of Mrs. Ridgeway.
The Marshals Service said White also threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and her sister in 2015, and previously said he wanted police to kill him.
Shortly after the prison break, the sheriff described Mrs. White as an “exemplary employee” who had worked as a corrections officer for more than two decades.
Since then it has been learned that she helped orchestrate the escape of the man with whom she has some kind of relationship, according to the authorities.
Authorities have released images of what Mrs White would look like if she changed her blonde hair to a darker color or shorter.
They also posted images of White’s signature tattoos, including symbols linked to white supremacist groups and what appears to be a Confederate flag.